Authorities on Wednesday said that the police had seized a heroin packaging mill in New York city. The mill was operational on a very large scale. It is reported that drugs seized at the mill are worth $12 million.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a man was taken in the custody who was involved and oversees the packaging operations at the mill. Three women were also involved who were assisting the man in the task. The busting operation took place on Forest Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens.
Police Busted A Heroin Packaging Mill In Queens
According to the officials the suspected drugs that were seized may include around 39 kg of heroin. 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills are also in custody. Though the officials are awaiting the lab test reports to confirm the actual identity of the suspected drugs.
Luis Martinez is accused of running the drug packaging operation. It is reported that Martinez was running the business at his apartment. He is charged as an operator in major trafficking, first- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second degree count for use of drug paraphernalia and several other counts.
The three women associates were also charged for criminal possession of restricted substances and drug paraphernalia.
Martinez along with the three women associated were arraigned on Tuesday night. According to the DEA officials, it was not clear immediately if the accused have any attorneys.
The special narcotics investigation team and the drug enforcement task force were on a surveillance on Monday around 4 p.m. At the same time Martinez left his apartment carrying a backpack. He was interrupted by the team. He had around $200,000 cash, four cellphones and a key to his residence in the backpack. The DEA then found three women inside the apartment. According to the DEA the drug packaging was operational at the time of the bust.
In the apartment around thousands of packed envelopes were lying on a table top bearing different name. The equipment necessary for packaging and processing the drugs were provided to the three women. Digital scales, sifters, grinders etc. were all available in the apartment itself.
Apart from the suspected drugs, around 25 cellphones, and numerous mails addressed to Martinez were seized from his residence.
Authorities from several agencies worked together in busting the operation. The authorities said that opioid addiction and deaths due to drug overdose is a national crisis. The bust is going to save many lives.
Ray Donovan, the DEA’s special agent who is in charge of New York, said that the narcotics obtained from the apartment were worth $ 12 million. The quantity seized is like a opioid landmine that has the capability to disperse hundreds of thousands of the drug doses, especially heroin, throughout the Northeast. The apartment was literally like a mine from where the drugs are extracted continuously.
According to the statements released by the Center of Diseases control and prevention, it is estimated that more than 80,000 people lost their lives due to drug overdose last year. The deaths include from drugs of all kind. The data is the highest that is recorded in a 12 months span.
The CDC also mentioned that the synthetic opioids are the primary driving force behind the deaths. The synthetic drug, fentanyl, is one of the most abused synthetic drugs.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid drug synthesized on large scales. It is much cheaper than heroin. It sometimes is mixed with heroin as the effects of fentanyl are more potent.
Sometimes, people are not even aware of the mixing of fentanyl with heroin. This leads to a drug overdose and fatalities.
The bust operation succeeded because of the cooperation of the federal and local partners at Queens.